The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

The blog post I’ve been avoiding

I usually blog about whatever occurs to me at the time or what I’m currently obsessing about.

Sometimes there are things going on that affect the family or other people, which are not really for public consumption. At that point I’ll usually search around for something else to write about.

But this time I just didn’t want to discuss my own dominating thoughts. I hoped I could avoid it, but I can’t seem to find anything else to put in its place. Whatever else is happening in my life, there is only one thing filling my thoughts whenever I come to write.

Consequently I’m getting to the point where I’m beginning to avoid visiting my blog and others for fear of having to raise the subject or get into a conversation about it.


So I feel I’d better mention it in the hope that I can get past it and on to more interesting thoughts and posts.

The fact is I can feel the Depression returning. That hollow life-depleting pain, deep in the chest.

I weaned myself off the anti-depressants earlier this year; I was fed up with the side effects.

I have no desire to return to them.

This is all old and familiar territory (see sidebar label for mental and physical health), although no less painful for that. But why I haven’t been wanting to blog about it is, to be honest, I don’t want the reactions from other bloggers.

I’m not looking for sympathy and I’m not looking for well meaning, but misplaced, advice.

Those who have suffered from Depression know what it’s like. Those who haven’t very often give suggestions like “go for a brisk walk,” or “read a good book” or “just think positive thoughts.”

And I don’t want to hear it.

Depression (capital D), the condition, is quite different from depression (little d), the temporary mood. The “pull yourself together” suggestion, or variant, is about as useful as giving a sticky plaster to someone who has just had a limb ripped off.

Depression is not a self-indulgent choice.

I don’t want to have to pretend to smile and be grateful for comments such as “but you have so much going for you” or “what I do when I feel down is…”

The pain is recurring with greater frequency, but I am now exploring an alternative approach of mindfulness based cognitive therapy. This will take a bit of time to develop, but ultimately it should be a far more powerful tool than anti-depressants will ever be.

So. I have written this post in the hope that I can move past this block on my blogging.

I hope you will understand if visits to other blogs, or responses to comments are sporadic.

But please do not leave messages of sympathy, pity or advice.

I don’t want them.


karatemom said...

Take it easy :) and it's your turn on wordscraper where you always kick my a$$. haha.

Jayne Martin said...

I've been on anti-depressants for years. Sometimes I amp them up, sometimes I take the dosage down. I really believe most people are on them or should be. I think they'd make a great addition to the water supply, especially in places like Afghanistan because how fucking depressing would it be to live in fucking Afghanistan. Sorry you're feeling down. Don't mean to make light of it. You're in my thoughts. - Jayne

The Pollinatrix said...

It's taken me getting to know people with Depression to realize it's not the same as with a little d. I'm glad you've shared this, because many of us still need to learn about this difference.

I hope your new therapy direction works. I'd be interested to hear how this journey proceeds.

Falak said...


Midnitefyrfly said...

well I had to ask myself, what would not include sympathy, pity, or advice? will you take some (((HUGS)))? if not I may have a little sarcasm lurking about, or a knock knock joke, how about some carrot cake, a beer? ok (((HUGS)) it is!

Gillian said...

Hey! You were brave enough to blog about it. It takes all kinds to make a world. Don't give up blogging - it may be what gets you through this.

hope said...

Duly noted.

Just remember...we care.

Peaches said...

I signed up to follow your blog for the real you...what ever that may be on any given day. Just be.

talesNtypos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bonequinhoda bic said...

Hello Kim !
I can only tell something that someone told me years ago,(I also suffer from depression,ocasionally) Maybe it will sound silly but here goes..."Keep company with It, This is the way to Get Rid of it".
Sometimes I can´t fight depression, I´M NOT THAT STRONG. But this phrase helps me to accept It !
After all, there is no such thing as a PERFECT PERSON!

Anonymous said...

I'm here for the good, bad, beautiful & ugly. And while I'm sad to hear the news (not trying to offer the dreaded sympathy, just a fact), I'm glad to hear about the new approach you're looking into as well. If you feel so inclined, I'd be interested to hear more about it.

Charlie said...

I understand.

karatemom said...

sit with your family and watch "it's a wonderful life" I guarantee you it does help. :)

Stella said...

I hear ya Kim

Library girl said...

You're not alone ... and yet ... you are ...

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Anything Cognitive Therapy based has got to be good.

Jennifer said...

I just purchased the book
Wherever You Go There You Are
by: Jon Kabat Zinn on Sunday. It is an excellent resource for me as I've been practicing aspects of meditation for many years now.

I have also been a participant in heavy, diligent cognitive therapy. There is NO DOUBT it is the best thing I have EVER done for my mental/emotional well being.

I do know about Depression with a capital D. I am well acquainted with the power it has over your entire being.

I to weaned myself from anti-depressants and have lived without them for over 3 years now.

I hope for you in this journey...I believe the path you have chosen is one of GREAT importance.

Annie said...

Kim, I'm so glad you posted about how you are feeling. I have no words of advice, I'm not going to make suggestions of how to 'get through it' because it's pointless. I call it going into my cave and not wanting to come out again.. EVER. I suffer the same as you and have been off anti-depressants for almost a year... but in reality, I still need them.

All I will say is that you have a lot of friends there for you for the days you feel like coming out of your cave, but you already know that.

big hugs (and they're not sympathetic ones, they're just hugs from a friend because I like to hug my friends) :D


savannah said...

ok, sugar! as y'allhave done so often for me (((hugs)))) xoxoxox

cannwin said...

I hate not knowing what to blog about. Sitting in front of the screen and thinking, "there are people who want me to write and I could really care less right now."

(that's when I post a picture or some dumb YouTube video).

There's this website called plinky prompts... some of the prompts are really stupid, but sometimes they come up with fun topics. Like-Which natural disaster freaks you out the most?

Yeah, Tsunami's. I can't handle the idea of drowning. ::shiver::

My name is cannwin and I suffer from the big D.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of your increasing illness, Kim. I cannot personally vouch for the method you are exploring but it is in line with what I believe to be effective. Wishing you all the best with becoming more healthy again.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the dominating thoughts. It's scary to share because it feels like it gives them strength for me. I appreciate your sharing- was kind of wondering. I will send you many non-pitying hugs. It took a lot of courage to speak out and start to move into action.

Rachel Fox said...

I've been fighting my anxieties this year - a lot. It's hard.

I hope you manage to nip this before it gets too bad again.


Dan said...

No sympathy because you don't need it. No advice because it would be useless and you don’t need that either.

Just know that when you’re ready, the people that read this will still be here, and we can then carry on as before.

And I also have some Scandinavian midget porn if you ever need to borrow any at all?

Keep well dude.

Cate said...

no sympathy/pity/advice from me, either. Just...good thoughts, I guess.

But, I'd be interested in hearing more about the cognitive therapy. If you ever feel up to posting about it.

Star said...

I found your post depressing to read because I have lived with Depression for 17 years, not mine, but the Depression of my eldest son. I find it totally impossible to understand and I feel very cross with him and others who say they suffer it. His Depression has caused so much grief in our family that I cannot help but hate that part of him, whilst loving the real person. I'm sorry but to me it's a totally selfish disease and I am of the 'snap out of it and give everyone else a break' camp. There are so many people in the world today who deserve to be Depressed and aren't that it must surely be self indulgent for those who have everything going for them insist on burdening the rest of them with their 'poor little me' outbursts. Get a life, you have one, take your pills and get over it. That's my opinion. I know it's not what you want to hear, but I took the trouble to read your post and these were my thoughts afterwards.
Blessings on your recovery, Star

Jimmy Bastard said...

Spend just one night in a childrens ward at your local hospital Kim.

The bravery and courage of both weans and heartbroken parents will remind you of why we need to smile whenever we can.

You need golf in your life, and I'm just the man to help you out!

Pick you up at 7:30.

V said...

Star, If only it were that simple, and if only it were a all means hate your son's illness, in the same way as I hate my Dad's Alzheimer's, but no one chooses it.

I rarely comment anywhere, but I guess i'm being a bit defensive on this subject. Sorry Kim! So please delete at will...

Taking responsibility by engaging in therapy is a wise and strong thing to do and better than any pills can ever be.

CBT is the hardest journey I ever travelled, but weirdly the best and most also gave me my blog.

Kim, embrace it, it's worth it. Some of it is even to be enjoyed.

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

It is so difficult sometimes to decide what to post about and what not to. I often leave posts in draft for weeks before deleting them because I know that while I want to post them I just can't. Usually it is because the post will offend someone I know reads my blog or because they are too personal or easily identifiable to people I work with. Having said that, I often find that I get the most interaction from posts that really put it all out there - which while not the be all and end of of blogging is certainly an enjoyable part of it for me.

I have suffered from Depression in the past. Doesn't it just suck big time?!!

debra said...


Helen said...

Hey Bearded One - had been wondering where you were. Take care.

Hindsfeet said...

huh...I just now posted an entry after sometime of being "offline" so to speak for the same exact reason...and for the same exact reason decided to post the entry about what I was going through ("Darkest before the Dawn")...

Like you, I also couldn't get past or around it, so thought I should just go ahead, be vulnerable, and write through it. I do feel a little unclogged and perhaps gained some objective perspective in reading what I wrote through the eyes of a was cathartic, helpful I think...

If nothing else, we know we're not alone...

as a p.s., just wanted to address a note I left on your birthday post a ways back...Sometimes I think I'm being helpful, and believe me, it's well meaning, but sometimes it's well meaning meddling...and presumptuous at best...I'm sorry if I came off as patronizing your pain, and hope you'll forgive this fellow-blogger if I stepped on your toes instead of healing your heart.


Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

I wish I didn't understand what you are talking about, but I do.

Thanks for your honesty.

Anonymous said...

Your like me Kym, I don't like writing about it either, no matter how theraputic it is said to be.. in fact I don't tend to blog about any of my health concerns either, I always tend to suppose that others don't want to hear it or read about it, and why should they? I would much rather try and make my readers laugh out loud or cheer them up than prattle on about how down or how ill I am feeling. I suppose it seems so, how can I put it, self indulgent in a way.
I do echo you though in trying to keep off the anti's I hate taking any tablets, and I have to take a load since my heart attack so...its a no no

Katie Roberts said...

Star, after reading your comment I feel very angry. This 'D' is NOT a choice and therefore cannot be considered as self-indulgent or selfish. That is like judging someone in a wheel chair for their difficulties (I have been in this situation). are This (blaming) is not a way to approach anyone who is suffering - no matter what the cause. Pharmaceuticals are not the solution. I could write more but I dont want to fill Kim's blog with angry responses...
unless thats what you'd like Kim?:)

I hope you find it possible Star to address your understanding or learn respect for that which is real and effects others so profoundly.

To Kim I send something intangible

Pat said...

Am I allowed to say that the MBCT rings a positive bell so I hope you are able to give it the concentration I think it deserves.
I'll shut up now - I'm going to watch a film on TV.

Soulaima Chamsi-Pasha said...

I'm not going to pretend to understand what it's like. I do however, have a friend who suffers from the big D, and I know that nothing I say ever helps.

So instead, I just give out some big fat hugs, and say: if you want, I can tell you a joke.

So heres a joke for you Kim Ayres:

What kind of bees produce milk?


Ron Tipton said...

I understand your feelings exactly and I will abide by your wishes. As you know a few weeks ago I entered the Valley for a short period of time. I'm out now thank goodnes. But when I was in I, like you, did not want to hear words of encouragement. It doesn't help. The way out has to come from within.

I remember what Winston Churchill used to say when he felt the Black Dog returning for a visit. Oh how I understood him perfectly.

For a short time I tried anti-depressents but I didn't like them. They just numbed me to the world. That doesn't work for me. I knew I was in trouble when I almost rad a red light while under the influence of an anti-depressent and I didn't care. That's when I knew I had to get off that shit.

Just remember your international fan base of friends are here for you when you return. Do what you have to do.

At times like this I remember that old quote I saw on a T-shirt once in Provincetown: "Life's a bitch,then you die."

Now see, I have been of absolutely no help to you at all Kim.


Patrick said...


Mary Witzl said...

Umm...I heard this the other day and I've been sitting on it. But to hell with it, here it is:

I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline. They've got a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal. They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

(Ducks and runs)

Zaedah said...

The man I adore more than life has Depression (note capital) and OCD to boot. This battle was certainly not his choice and we both lack sufficient weapons to fight it most days.

Despite all efforts, I have never found anything remotely valuable to tell him that makes a difference. So I opt to merely hold his hand, lend my never-tiring ear and always keep Mystery Science Theater 3000 on hand.

Likewise I can offer nothing useful to you except my admiration for your courage and honesty. And of course you're welcome to my copy of The Brain That Wouldn't Die any time!

Charlie said...

To Star: For someone who has been around the mental disease of Depression for 17 years and does not understand it, your "opinion" is not only worthless but also one of the most ignorant comments I have ever read.

Lorraine said...

I'm so glad I read your Tetchy Grumpy Bastard post first! HA! I used to think I HAD mild depression, until I read about your Mindfulness approach to treatment of it. Now I see I may have had a Middling kind.. I had the anxiety 24/7 (I worried about what other people thought of me all the time due to the very low self esteem. Plus I acquired this e-mailing and radio station obsession, how embarrassing) I honestly think I went crazy too..
I thought my depression might be PMS, hormonal induced too! I was living in my own little world Kim..) My family was not included.. I tuned them out. I was an island... I took anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds for 3 weeks before I stopped. I felt like a zombie and couldn't remember a thing at work.. I even tried sleeping pills cuz I was getting 3 hours of sleep a night.. But I only took one.. (I didn't want to get addicted). So as I said I turned to meditation. You have to LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT to meditate. I know you don't want advice but please read the book A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle, it is all about being mindful and living in the NOW. it helped me live in reality more than any other self help book.
Coincidentally I had to learn how to meditate to overcome the anxiety.

Just Curious... said...

Some people just can't cope with things that can't be fixed and like to throw "helpful" suggestions they think will "make all the difference". I won't bother with any of those because they always made me want to rip those peoples eyes out.

The glaringly obvious suggestions always made me wonder how thick they thought I was that I wouldn't have tried those things right at the beginning.

I look forward to reading your blog when you come out the other side.

Phil said...

Dude. Don't know if you will read this, but here it is. No advice. No sympathy. I will kick your ass on pathwords anytime.

Love your pics, love your writings about your family. Keep the faith.


Fay's Too said...

I've tried several times to describe my own battle with depression. Thanks for doing it so well. I look forward to hearing how the new therapy goes.

Pat said...

You may be a grumpy tetchy old bastard (I'm quoting from memory) but you're my favourite:)

Stella said...

It's Star's son I feel sorry for................

Megan said...

Bravo to you for admitting what's on your mind.

It sucks, dealing with Depression. I have been for most of my life (I'll be 19 soon). And I know when mine gets bad, I just have to put my big-girl panties on and deal with the damn Depression Demon (pretty cool alliteration, if I say so). I go and sucker punch the thing in the face. You know as well as I that giving in is the pits.

I'm not trying to give out advice, because I know you don't want it, and I know that I have none to give. I just know that as trite as this sounds, it will pass (especially if you give Depression a good, hard punch, flip it the bird, and refuse to give in).

I don't know if you've seen the Lion King, but when I think of Depression, I think of Simba's line, "I laugh in the face of danger, hahahaha!"

Well, I laugh in the goddamn face of Depression. (It makes him go cry in the corner.)

Katie Roberts said...

Just a tip people...if what you are writing/saying starts with "I ..." your statement is about YOU. (I find, I believe, I feel - which is fine if thats what you want to talk about, but recognise your own story may not help others)
If what you say is "Do this..." It is an INSTRUCTION and akin to advice (but worse).
If you want to say something to someone and you do not want to be insensitive, patronising or make a situation worse. Check yourself first! What are your motivations? Does your response really CONNECT with the other person and what they are saying? To do this - we may have to through away our own robotic, self-centred, self-help sentiment and BE REAL with people.
(Just a suggestion by the way) :)

Star: btw no-one deserves to feel depressed.

Anonymous said...

Love ya anyway.... more hugs coming.

Attila The Mom said...

Oh bleargh is right. My mother is one of those "in my day we didn't have TIME to be depressed" people who recommends a brisk walk. LOL

No advice, just wanted to say that I am thinking about you.


Brittan said...

what is tetchy?

Chocolatesa said...

I have a close friend who is almost constantly depressed, has tried committing suicide numerous times, and refuses to take any medication or seek professional help. I think that any good humour and joking around is probably just a shell he wears. I've learned long ago that nothing I say or do will affect his inner disposition in any way, so I content myself with prayers, hugs, and making sure I don't lose contact with him completely and try to hang out with him every so often, no matter what happens. So the same for you. *hug*

Chocolatesa said...

Actually, I think I might try suggesting mbct to him.

Wandering Coyote said...

My good friend Charlie directed me here, Kim.

I have had Major Depressive Disorder since the age of 11, and I am 35 now. So, I am very familiar with Depression. I used to have a mental health blog where I wrote about this stuff, but had to take it down due to confidentiality concerns.

I'm not going to offer you any advice or anything like that. But I do want to say that it is very brave of you to share this, and I want you to know you're not alone.

Also, complete morons like Star need to get out of their selfish places and educate themselves. The comparison by Katie of depression to being in a wheelchair is an apt one. This is an illness the way diabetes is an illness. I agree with Charlie: it was an incredibly ignorant comment.

I hope the CBT goes well. I've done a version of it and I know that it works. It takes time, though, so be gentle with yourself.

Take care.

MaLady said...

Hey Kim,

it's been a while since I posted... but I finally have something to say thanks to you, a techty, grumpy old guy (isn't that what you said?)

damn!!! see, to a religious girl that just feels goood!! :D life does suck whether it be the suffocating numbness or the challenges that pile up like a staircase that is being added onto even as one lumbers upward!

and the struggle and thinking about it brings me around to what I really feel under/through it all - bravo for life because it has intrinsic beauty anyway, it's a miracle that it exists at all. I just love that I can be open here and say damn!! and also thank you!! for your honesty and for being techty and grumpy and still honest and quite good at expressing thoughts the way you do, making it easier for us...

So, damn! and thank you! for this nice safe place of interesting and interestingly nurtured/nurturing people that care about you, bringing beauty into a very gray subject. sigh, happiness. :) I've been depressed lately too, and sort of thrashing around wildly in the anticipatory grief of seeing it coming again...

Miss Ellaneous said...

Well, I have only ever had depression that was induced by medicine, so I doubt I have any clue what you are going through. I don't pity you, nor offer you any helpful advice, I don't even have understanding for you, but I hope you start to get back to your rambling bearded self again soon.

Paula said...

D is the pits isn't it? And don't you just love it when well-meaning friends/family/others say things like "It could be a lot worse..", "Pull youself together..", "Get over it.." etc? As if we wouldn't if we could! Do they think we sufferers of this debilitating condition and similar, actually willingly choose to experience its intense emotional pain?

(I do hope 'Star' can illuminate her mind by researching Depression further, thus enabling her to provide appropriate support and compassionate understanding to her son!)

Good on you Kim for having the courage to get off the anti-D's. Have tried so many times myself - unsuccessfully... Hope the clouds dissipate soon, and the sun shines on you again!!

LegalMist said...

This post, and your next one, really struck a chord with me. I've been suffering with depression, too, and not wanting to admit it, in part because I don't want to deal with all the well-meaning advice... but also because I was really blaming myself and feeling sorry for myself more than facing the fact of depression.

Anyway, you expressed things so well, and it really stuck with me.

So I linked to these posts from my blog, hoping that a few more people might read your words and have a better understanding. I hope you don't mind.

I hope it doesn't lead to more well-meaning but misguided souls posting "helpful" comments here.

If you want me to take down the links, let me know.

linea said...

Thank you for sharing this. I suffer from bipolar disorder and am always so happy when people can share their own stories and feelings. (Not that I'm happy when they're sad, but you know what I mean). Though I don't use MBCT exactly I constantly try to focus on mindfullness with my own therapy. MBCT sounds like a good way to go. Thanks for sharing the website, it is always nice to have more resources.

carlie_star said...

people are incorrigable huh you say don't leave sympathy or advice but people can't help it they have nothing else to say.
i haven't been there so I'm not gonna comment just say that i appreciate your honesty and your writing style and i am enjoying readin ALL of your blogs

Ruth said...

sympathy, pity, advice
sympathy; pity advisors
sympathy for pithy advice
sympathetic, pitiful, advice
[just turning your last three words, no offense I hope]

Oh hell I'm not sure why I ended up here, on this page, again I think, but by accident-the title caught my eye off a list. Most of the time I can say I'm happy! I feel happy really... but I haven't done or attempted to care much about a damn thing for at least two days. I'm going to call it a mental cocoon. Deciding to not care about feelings of fear - didn't you say you were doing that? Is it working toward genuine comfort and meaning in your life? I'm fine really, and perfectly sober but I shouldn't be reading Faulkner. That man's mind is as insidious as Poe only much sneakier in presentation. :)

There is, Kim, a bootprint in my soul and it is there that fills up with muddy water under the gray-blue skies of life. The reflections can be beautiful. The soul however, is soggy from the gathering of grief.

Peace, and thank you for your reflections.

Kim Ayres said...

I've come a long way since this post, Ruth - especially this year and more especially these last few months.

Whatever bootprints there may be on our souls, they don't have to stay there - we can learn to heal :)

All content copyright of Kim Ayres. Powered by Blogger.